This cake is different than your normal cake – it’s light, because there isn’t any flour, but it’s super dense – there’s a pound of chocolate sitting in the cake. When you bite into it, you’ll find the flavor very rich – that’s the chocolate – but light in volume. It’s almost confusing – you’d think so much richness would be packed in something thick, like fudge. What we get instead is a light texture and strong flavor!
It’s super easy to make, except for the actual baking of it. The recipe I have said to bake it for 30 minutes. Lies! You must bake it for longer!
If you bake it for 30 minutes like I did, you’ll take it out of the oven and think “oh, this is jiggly, just what the book said!” Then you’ll attempt to take the sides off the pan (springform pan) and some cake will just spill out of the side onto whatever surface your cake pan was on. Not what you want. So back in the oven it goes, and I baked it for longer than that.
As for anyone trying this cake today, please excuse any strangeness about it. I don’t think there is, really. It was simply a mini spill. Nothing like the BP oil spill last year. As long as I’m not killing wildlife in the process, I’ll go ahead and say that this cake was a success.
1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
9 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp white sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 9 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Melt the chocolate with the butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost simmering water. Whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
Beat the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer on mid-high speed in a large bowl for 4 to 5 minutes, or until thick and pale. Then beat the egg whites with clean beaters on the same speed with the tablespoon of sugar. Do this just until the whites form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted.
Add the egg yolk and chocolate mixtures in 2 additions each, starting with the chocolate mixture. Lightly combine all the ingredients until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour**. The edges will be firmed and the center a bit puffy, yet also jiggly (similar to cheesecake). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
When you’re ready to serve it, remove the sides of the pan. Dust the cake with a layer of cocoa, then powdered sugar, then cocoa again, and finish with one last layer of powdered sugar.
*This recipe is from a book, Luscious Chocolate Desserts by Lori Longbotham, 2004.
**The recipe in the book states 30 minutes, but if you do that, it will be ridiculously undercooked. Jiggly, oh definitely. But so undercooked that an hour or two later when it’s just sitting around it will be as if you never cooked it. So I doubled the time, and that worked for me. (The book also says not to overcook it, but you know what? It turned out just fine for me!)